The bear crawl is a fundamental, total body exercise that can rehabilitate and strengthen your shoulder joints, develop the core and leg muscles, and improve cardiovascular conditioning. This simple but phenomenal exercise can be practiced in any setting, with zero equipment.  

When most people think of the bear crawl, they are reminded of one terrible position:

File_000 (9)

With hips hiked in the air and your head looking back through your legs, this obsolete form of bear crawling is awkward, unsafe, and inefficient. Instead, we suggest trying to bear crawl this way:

File_000 (8)

Here is the standard for a great bear crawl:

  1. Your hands start under your shoulders, and your knees start under your hips.
  2. Lift your knees 1-2 inches from the ground and keep them there throughout the movement. You will be tempted to raise your knees higher as you go. Resist!
  3. Before you begin to crawl, brace your abs to activate the core, and “tuck” your shoulders towards your hips by pulling them away from your ears. This subtle movement activates your latissimus dorsi, the large muscles of the back that will help control the movement and produce force.
  4. Take small, synchronized steps, keeping your knees directly beneath your body, and not reaching too far forward with your hands. Your hand and opposite foot should be moving at the same time each step.

To try the bear crawl out, give these quick workouts a go:


Every Minute On the Minute for 10-15 Minutes:

Bear Crawl 20yd


Circuit (perform one exercise, then move on to the next exercise)

30 sec of work, 30 sec of rest for 4-6 Rounds:

Bear Crawl
Jumping Jacks
Banana Hold
Glute Bridge